MLB hitters slow out of the box to start 60-game season

production that wouldn™t fly even for a second baseman.

production that wouldn™t fly even for a second baseman.

Part of the problem might be that pitchers are throwing harder than they usually do at the start of the season. Average fastball velocity over the first week was 93.3 mph, compared to 92.9 in March and April each of the past three seasons, per FanGraphs.

Not that pitchers haven™t been affected by the unusual start. Houston™s Justin Verlander, the Dodgers™ Clayton Kershaw, Texas™ Corey Kluber and Washington™s Stephen Strasburg have all been injured during the first week. There was concern that pitchers might get hurt ramping up without a full spring training.

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell thinks hitters will find a grove eventually. He certainly hopes so: Yelich and the Brewers are hitting .198 as a team, one of four clubs stuck below the Mendoza line.

I don™t think five games in probably is the right sample for that necessarily, Counsell said.

We haven™t swung the bats. I think our hitters are ready. I don™t think that was a problem. But we™ve had some guys who haven™t swung the bats like they can, for sure.

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AP Sports Writers Howard Fendrich and Steve Megargee contributed to this report.

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Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake_Seiner

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